General informationPlatform: Game Boy Advance
Developed by Fuse Games
Published by Nintendo
Experience Mario style in your Game Boy Advance in the Mario Pinball Land! Of course, Mario’s game world will never be complete without the need of rescuing the Princess in the hand of Bowser’s minions as they kidnapped her and escaped into another dimension. This time, the only way Mario could follow and save the Princess is to turn him into a super pinball and for a change, the signature jumping of our heroes is off the menu. In this game, players should use flippers as best as they can to help Mario roll and bounce as he rescues the Princess. By bouncing, try collecting the stars, eliminating enemies and beats five worlds that each has a boss at the end. The first time Mario has been seen in a Pinball game was in 1984 on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) that was when he made a cameo appearance in that game.
Official Story from the game manualPrincess in Peril!?
During the unveiling ceremony for the new “Sky Cannon” at the Fun Fair, Princess Peach was accidentally blasted off to Bowser’s castle! The Sky Cannon, an amazing new transportation device that launches people to new destinations, got off to a rocky start because of this shocking turn of events.
According to eyewitnesses, the mishap occurred when a pair of shady Goombas altered the cannon’s direction. Within moments, they had locked up the castle, with Princess Peach trapped inside!
Mario to the rescue!
Without a moment’s hesitation, Mario leapt into a cannon to rescue Princess Peach. If Mario collects four Star Keys, he’ll be able to get into Bowser’s Castle. To do that, he’ll need to confront many challenges and defeat the bosses who hold those keys! Will he be able to rescue Princess Peach?
How does it work?
Before you can ride the Sky Cannon, a special “Pinballer” squeezes you into a ball, so that you can fit into the cannon’s barrel. The Pinballer also makes you surprisingly rubbery, so that you bounce harmlessly when you land!
GameplayPress L and R to activate the flippers, or A and the Control pad and Activate some items with A.
Several stages require you to do some very interesting skill shots that will test your patience and grit, as you try to switch tables, hit objectives and go through the available worlds, getting keys to get access to Bowsers’ castle.
ItemsThere are certain shops that you will have access to, Toad will appear on the map and as you hit him a tent will cover you and he'll try to coaxe you to buy an item. You may also get items from ‘? Blocks’ that appear after beating certain bosses:
- Coin: The currency used to buy items
- Blue coin: Used to get minigames for stars
- 1up Mushroom: Gain an extra ball with this
- Blue Pipe: This prevents the Mario Ball from falling
- Yoshi Egg: Extra ball!
- Super Mushroom: Makes the Mario Ball bigger
- Mini Mushroom: Makes the Maroi Ball smaller
- Star: Gain invincibility passing through enemies
- Lightning: Attacks all enemies on screen
- Special egg: This red egg with white stars provides a combination of a Super Mushroom, a Star, a Yoshi egg and a blue pipe.
|The Fun Fair, a normal grass land with few enemies and a single store, alongside a Haunted House where you will fight a Big boo for the key.|
|The Frosty Frontier stage, packed full of penguins and a Mr. Freeze. Here you will find a Shipwreck, where a Puffer Fish is, holding the key of the area.|
|Grassy Greens which is a hub sort of world, it has a Windmill, where you will fight Petey Piranha; he gives you a key, once you defeat him.|
|The Shifty Sands area which has a pyramid on it, the pokeys, lakitus and Kleptos may be a problem, Inside the pyramid you will find Cobrats and Shyguys, finally you will have to fight an Egyptian Koopa who will give you a key.|
|After using all the keys you may enter the Fiery Stage, also known as Bowser’s Castle. There are many enemies here like Flying Shyguys and Armored Koopas, as you proceed you will find chained Thwomps that will try to bring you down. At the end you will have to face Bowser himself! After you defeat him you go back to the Fun Fair to have a deserved rest.|
EnemiesEach of these worlds is packed full of enemies that are the regular enemies you would find on any Mario world. The enemies are well known from other games and normally will just stand on your way to stop the ball, the full Enemy cast is:
- Shy Guys
- Shy Guy on Skates
- Flying Shy Guys
- Spiny Cheep-Cheeps
- Mr. Blizzard
- Bullet Bills
- Chain Chomps
- 1-Up Moles
- Armored Koopas
ReceptionThis game received mixed reviews at launch, the game graphics were the pivotal point of the game praise, however the game is just too hard, and the gameplay is inconsistent were the major gripes. It is too short, and once you are done with it, unless you want to get a high score there are few reasons to pick it up again.
- IGN gave it a 5 out of 10, Gamespot gave it a 7.5 out of 10, and Nintendo Life gave a 7 out of 10 on the virtual console rerelease.
- MPL holds a score of 62/100 over 35 critics, their users were a bit more critical however and the user score is 4.9/10 over 11 ratings.
- Meanwhile the score over at fellow aggregation site GameRankings.com has MPL holding 64.75% over 32 reviews.
VideosCheck out these videos for Mario Pinball Land including TV Commercials, the little opening cinematic movie and a trailer from E3 2004.
A U.S TV Commercial
Intro / Opening Video
The Trailer from E3 2004
Trivia & Facts
- This game was oddly called Super Mario Ball in Europe and Japan, and Super Mario Pinball Land in America.
- The Japanese version has different physics than the American version, making it a bit harder.
- The Flippers can actually move up and down to move the ball from one flipper to the other.
An artwork of Pinball Mario facing off vs Pufferfish